Pediatric dermatology

Ethnic differences in stratum corneum functions between Chinese and Thai infants residing in Bangkok, Thailand.

PMID 29143471


Ethnic and racial differences in infant skin have not been well characterized. The purpose of this study was to establish whether there are ethnic differences and similarities in the stratum corneum (SC) functions of Thai and Chinese infants. Healthy infants 6 to 24 months of age (N = 60; 30 Thai, 30 Chinese) who resided in Bangkok, Thailand, were enrolled. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and SC hydration (capacitance) on the thigh, buttock, and upper arm were measured. Ceramide content was determined in the SC on the upper arm. SC hydration was not remarkably different between the two ethnicities at any site measured, but TEWL was significantly higher in Chinese infants than in Thai infants at all sites. Hydration of the SC was not significantly correlated with age in either ethnicity. TEWL had significant but weak correlations with age on the thigh and upper arm in Thai infants. Ceramide content was significantly higher in Chinese SC than in Thai SC. No relationship between ceramide content and TEWL or hydration was observed in either ethnicity. The significant differences in TEWL and ceramide contents between Chinese and Thai infant skin could prove useful in designing skin care and diapering products that are best suited for each ethnicity.